Functional Friday: Knitting to Share by Gerard Allt

There is an interesting story behind this book. I had seen a pattern from the book on Ravelry and the only place you could get it was from the book. This book, first published in 2008, was quite illusive. I probably could have ordered it from somewhere if I really wanted, but I hate ordering books online. I like to flip through them and feel the pages. I think that is something strange that I do, but I really like to touch it before I buy it.

Knitting to Share

I searched through book stores and knitting stores. I wasn’t actually looking, so much as checking when I had the opportunity. I think it was almost a year until the book actually presented itself for purchase. Oddly enough it was at the fall Creativ Festival. I happened to walk by a booth selling all manner of crafty books and checked to see if this book was among them. I didn’t see it, so I asked the person manning the booth, just in case I had missed it. He actually had it in the back. There was only one copy left.
I was really glad I waited because it made finding the book that much more exciting. Also, the pattern that I liked was a maternity pattern and I didn’t know anyone who was pregnant at the time and didn’t plan on being pregnant myself anytime soon. I had the time.

Knitting to Share 2

The overall impression of this book is very earthy, in the sense that there are hand-drawn examples and the yarns are closer to natural colours. All the samples are knit in tones of cream, brown and greens. There are some colours, but I find they are slightly muted; a pair of baby booties on the cover are knit in yellow, green and red. The red isn’t glaring, but it doesn’t qualify as pink either. I think the brightest yarn in the book is the men’s hand warmer pattern.
One aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was the name of the patterns. Each pattern has the name of an angel in it. Gerard Allt wanted this book to encourage good will and give people a lift when they need it. In the introduction, he states that when you knit something for someone, you are putting love and work into that garment and passing it onto that person. There are three small blurbs about ‘for those you love’ and ‘for those in need.’ Allt strongly recommends that you donate knitting for those in need. There is an entire world of people out there who could use the comfort and love a knitted hat would provide. The links provided in the book are for Care to Knit and Water Aid. There is a gallery of photos from a non-profit event filled with yarn bombing and the most gigantic granny square blanket you will ever see!

Knitting to Share 3

The patterns are relatively easy to follow and are prefaced by a heartfelt introduction with info such as ideal recipients for this gift or the inspiration behind the pattern. There are also a couple ‘hints’ sections. Small things that would make substituting yarn base or weight easier, help through tricky parts of the pattern and diagrams.
This book has beautiful patterns and a great message. It is obvious the author poured a lot of time and love into the creation of this volume. If you can spot a copy, this would make an excellent gift for a knitter of any level.